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#142626 - 05/11/05 03:45 PM "Ninja" swords
MG26 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 13
In the search for something cool and different, I came across this website:

http://ninjasword.gungfu.com/

which contains a lot of text about an alleged sword of ninjas, which was straight and of poor quality and design (!)

Is there any truth in these ninja-sword claims then? I thought the whole ninja thing was an 80s obsession that has been discredited and the claims about these swords have been proven untrue?

I'm confused. Whether it's true or not it still sounds cool though. Marketing gimmick??

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#142627 - 05/11/05 06:34 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: MG26]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
All I can tell you is that in The Bujinkan, the sword techniques are practiced with 'regular' katana, not straight bladed swords. Working on the premise that in feudal Japan, the role of the ninja as a sort of 'special op' , involving covert activity, having a weapon that identified him by being synonimous with his skills would seem counter productive.
Couldnt tell you the specifics, but the curve (sori i think is the Japanese term) is created as a result of the forging process. I think it unlikely that anyone in Japan would have gone to great lengths to find a sword smith willing to make a poor quality sword, when good ones were relatively easily available.
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#142628 - 05/12/05 12:59 AM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: MG26]
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4064
Loc: Limbo
The "ninja-to" is a Hollywood creation that fraudulent "ninja masters" adopted due to lack of any real knowledge of ninjutsu. The idea that the ninja-to was used as more of a utility tool for climbing and other similar acts also doesn't make any sense. Why use a low grade sword for climbing when there were other tools of the time already in place? Then there is the fact that there isn't a single ninja-to in any Japanese museum. It's all fantasy.
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Enjoy life while you can, you never know when things will change.

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#142629 - 05/12/05 08:48 AM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: laf7773]
MG26 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 13
[edit]


Edited by MG26 (05/12/05 11:56 AM)

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#142630 - 05/12/05 09:22 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: MG26]
Nico Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/12/05
Posts: 8
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Another point to note is that no assassin in his right mind would go off on a mission, knowing full well that there might be a risk of encountering samurai with their high-quality blades, taking with them a poor quality sword. Japanese steel has been known to cut through a blade due to a slight imperfection such as a nick along the edge. What would be the point?
Though, I have read articles that claimed some ninja carried shorter bladed Katana in a fully sized scabbard to hide its true form. The shorter blade came in handy for indoor fighting, especially when considering the low ceilings of Japanese homes at the time, but longer than a Wakizashi.
How true the statement is is unknown.
Nico
_________________________
"Trust a friend with your life, lose both in the bargain." ~Assassin's Maxim.

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#142631 - 05/13/05 12:55 AM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: Nico]
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4064
Loc: Limbo
I've heard similar. Basically it was a wakizashi blade with katana tsuka and tsuba. I don't know how true this is either but i would tend to believe this MUCH sooner than the ninja-to garbage.
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Enjoy life while you can, you never know when things will change.

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#142632 - 05/13/05 08:12 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: laf7773]
Gaara Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/04/05
Posts: 12
First off, ninja would expect to compplete their mission without fighting samurai. Second, ninja would not fight head-on. Third, ninja were mostly peasents who were poor so they could not hire a sword smith. Fourth, ninja would use their sword as a tool to climb after they used their others and they also used them to open doors by cutting the lock. Lastly, the ninja didn't see their sword as their soul as samurai did so they treated them as tools that could be made fast and easily in about a day instead of a few months.

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#142633 - 05/14/05 12:21 AM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: Gaara]
nekogami13 V2.0 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 2643
Loc: Texas, USA
Wow, not a true statement in your entire post.
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I'm sorry, I was just imaging what you would look like with duct tape over your mouth

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#142634 - 05/14/05 12:52 AM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: Gaara]
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4064
Loc: Limbo
Gaara,

Where have you gotten your information? Your entire post appears to be based on movies.
_________________________
Enjoy life while you can, you never know when things will change.

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#142635 - 05/14/05 01:57 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: Nico]
Wilf Offline
Member

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 48
Loc: Germany
In one of his 90s videos "Ninja Biken", grandmaster Hatsumi sensei himself uses most of the time a shinobigatana (its blade with a length of somewhat in between a Katana and a Wakizashi). The sword mounting is that of a normal Katana.Nevertheless many different styles of swords have been in use (as can be seen in the video).

I personally think -as far as I`m concerned with this thing- that if we talk about "The" ninja sword, the katana-like one with little shorter blade would be the most suited.
I think that this one we would really call a "shinobigatana" as Shihan Doron Navon translated the video to us into english at a Tai Kai in Munich in 1991.

Greetings, Wilf

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#142636 - 05/16/05 10:48 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: Wilf]
Gaara Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/04/05
Posts: 12
I learned it from my father and the rest of my family. We are Japanese and we are from a ninja clan and I have trained in Ninjutsu and am a 10th Dan of my clans style.

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#142637 - 05/16/05 11:24 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: Gaara]
JoelM Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 6355
Loc: Georgia, USA
I really hope that's a joke.
_________________________
We should all take ourselves seriously...and then crumple that image up and toss it out the window.

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#142638 - 05/17/05 12:38 AM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: JoelM]
Reiki Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 3400
Loc: MiddleEarth
Play nicely children or else...
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Allow me to acquaint you with my friends Mr Jab and Mr Cross...

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#142639 - 05/17/05 12:56 AM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: Reiki]
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4064
Loc: Limbo
But he's making it too easy. Just this once, please?!
_________________________
Enjoy life while you can, you never know when things will change.

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#142640 - 05/22/05 09:36 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: laf7773]
Nico Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/12/05
Posts: 8
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
"First off, ninja would expect to complete their mission without fighting samurai"

Do you really think so? Thats like saying a CIA assassin would expect to not fight a body guard on a mission to kill an embassador. Surely he would still bring a weapon.

"Second, ninja would not fight head-on."

Why not? So are you telling me that with your 10th dan black belt you would run and hide if I met you on the street? Is that not why a ninja was so feared in his time. Becuase they could pass through guards undetected then cut a way out with their strange list of weaponry.
Takematsu Sensei was said to be a deadly swordsman, and had even killed many in duels.

"Lastly, the ninja didn't see their sword as their soul as samurai did so they treated them as tools that could be made fast and easily in about a day instead of a few months. "

Yes, but you being Japanese would surely know that it was not just Samurai that carried swords. A sword at your west was a common thing in fuedal japan. From my knowledge, it was only Samurai that were permitted to carry two, thus indicating their status.
The concept that a Ninja treated his sword like dirt because he saw it just as a tool just didnt make sense. I mean, I own alot of tools in my shed, but I don't leave them outside on the lawn at night to rust just because they are not my soul...
My two scents.

Wow, man...so if what you say is true, are you a real Ninja? From what family do you come from?
What was your training like? How long does it take you to smash a lock with your sword? Or do you pick it with the tip?
_________________________
"Trust a friend with your life, lose both in the bargain." ~Assassin's Maxim.

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#142641 - 08/27/05 06:53 AM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: Nico]
paradoxbox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
I'm months late to this thread but the guy with all his information wrong basically typed out word for word the sword section contained in Stephen Hayes's "Ninja and their Secret Fighting Art", while it's not all 100% wrong it's not accurate either.

For what it's worth any 'ninja' may have used straight swords prior to the 800's as this was the popular style, and many swords were imported from China, thus the vast majority of them were straight. However after the Late 780's, normal curved swords became the norm.

I can't remember exactly, but the shinobigatana from the Togakure ryu is defined as having an 18.4inch blade with a 14 inch tsuka. Very long tsuka for such a short blade.

The sageo is also supposed to be longer than normal for the 7 ways of sageo usage of course. And there are many more kuden for that.

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#142642 - 10/09/05 10:29 AM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: paradoxbox]
Dado Offline
Stranger

Registered: 10/09/05
Posts: 1
I also have to agree with Gaara on this matter.I am not a clan member but I`m a Bujinkan member.And the teachings in Bujinkan are quite clear...ANY weapon of any size is a weapon.Ninja-to by definition is a sword slightly shorter then katana, and sometimes he had a straight blade sometimes he didn`t.Only the imagination of an individual shinobi limited his arsenal,meaning everything he could put his hands on could become a weapon.First ninpo weapons vere derivates from farm tools, and the very first weapons were wooden(bo,hanbo,bokken,etc).At the beginning ninja`s were farm people who fled from daimyo`s in the hills.Later they were organized in ninja willages, later on in clans and famillies.Through this famillies we are able to learn ninpo. But the fact remains...for ninja a sword is only a weapon that he can use and be done with it.He doesen`t think of it as a carrier of his soul and honor(Like samurai does).IT IS ONLY A WEAPON like any other.And yes,nobody in bujinkan today denies the fact that ninja`s were shadow warriors.They didnt fight by the book,they didn`t go around villages dueling people like ronins did,they were send by their jonin to do a job,that they did at any cost.I am sorry that poeple have such distorted wiev of ninja`s(Or should I say Hollywood ninja`s),but that is the fact.They were not mindless assasins,or supernatural beeings,or good honorable people.They were warriors trained to do a job.They were trained from early ages of their life.But I am glad to see that ther are still active famillies who teach the true ninpo way. So, Gaara, NINPO IKKAN.

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#142643 - 10/09/05 04:29 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: Dado]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
Resident Forum Breakdancer

Registered: 02/07/05
Posts: 981
What do ninjas, Roman Legionaries, gladiators, and hoplites all have in common?


They no longer exist
_________________________
Alea iacta est ~ Gauis Julius Caesar Ne quis nimis ~ Solon Nuts to cancer ~ Sanchin31

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#142644 - 10/10/05 04:46 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
paradoxbox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
There are more than a few people who actually practice ninpo and ninjutsu that would disagree with your statement, someone who has no experience or knowledge of the art, nor ever researched ninja from a historical standpoint.

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#142645 - 10/10/05 10:30 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: paradoxbox]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
Resident Forum Breakdancer

Registered: 02/07/05
Posts: 981
Quote:

There are more than a few people who actually practice ninpo and ninjutsu that would disagree with your statement, someone who has no experience or knowledge of the art, nor ever researched ninja from a historical standpoint.




Who's to say I haven't? I obviously hit a tender spot, or you woke up on the wrong side of the bed, cause that's a pretty arrogant assumption you just made...considering I'm a HISTORY MAJOR....

In a historical context, no, ninja do not exist. MODERN ninja exist, ie, the practicioners of ninpo/ninjtsu. But without the social context of their day, ie a militaristic rule vs democratic rule, social class differentiations, they're really not the same, are they?

I can go buy a scutum, a gladius, and a pilum and then train in the Roman army, but I'm not a Roman legionary. Similarly, soldiers in the modern Italian army wouldn't call themselves legionaries, they're not the same.

Would you call today's Japanese soldiers samurai then? No, because even though samurai were "government soldiers" to put it in the simplest terms, today's modern Japan army are very clearly NOT samurai, even if they share similarities.

Unfortunately I don't think any of the campus museums contain ninpo artifacts, nor is there any History 101: history of ninjutsu and the ninja class being taught that I know of.

But I'm sure with your Ph.D in the subject you can point me in the right direction for a "historical" study of the ninja.
_________________________
Alea iacta est ~ Gauis Julius Caesar Ne quis nimis ~ Solon Nuts to cancer ~ Sanchin31

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#142646 - 10/10/05 10:53 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
Reiki Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 3400
Loc: MiddleEarth
play nicely please boys....

you are both getting close to a warning

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#142647 - 10/10/05 11:20 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: Reiki]
Mike_L Offline
Member

Registered: 10/08/05
Posts: 420
Loc: Rio Rancho NM/Louisville KY (U...
I suggest you all read "Ninjutsu history and tradition" by Masaaki Hatsumi" it should clear up any misconceptions on the history of Ninjutsu. At least the togakure ryu.
_________________________
"There is no such thing as Perfection... Only excellence"

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#142648 - 10/11/05 01:45 AM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
paradoxbox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
Quote:


considering I'm a HISTORY MAJOR....





I am a history major as well. Japanese medievel history to be specific. But your words speak louder than your history major does, as you do not appear to have studied what ninja, ninjutsu, or ninpo are all about, judging from your post. At least not in depth.

I would recommend you take a look through Bansenshukai, Shoninki and Ninpiden before drawing the conclusions that you have come to.

Learning to speak Japanese and how to dissect the kanji that are used for words such as ninja, shinobi no mono, kusa, etc, may also help you understand the subject.

Rest assured if you become proficient enough in Japanese or you find an English copy of any of the books I have mentioned above, with a little thought put into it you will see very clearly 'ninja' are still around and practicing to this day. Your homework is to figure out how and why they can still be called ninja.

Hint 1: Ninja were never a part of the Japanese class system. Maybe I completely misunderstood you but if you think ninja were all oppressed freedom fighters (as one author put it) you're way off base. Ninjutsu and ninja are far more involved than that. Ninja are a concept not a class.

Just a note for you: do not read between the lines or read too deeply into my post. I haven't left any hidden meanings or anger in this post. I've given you some information here, I'm not angry, never was angry, upset or anything like that. Just take what I've given you and if you want to, research it.

Here's a huge big hint that will give you almost all the information I told you to research in the first place.

www.ninpo.org

That is about the best info source you're going to get until you can read old Japanese script.

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#142649 - 10/11/05 01:57 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: paradoxbox]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
Resident Forum Breakdancer

Registered: 02/07/05
Posts: 981
Quote:


with a little thought put into it you will see very clearly 'ninja' are still around and practicing to this day. Your homework is to figure out how and why they can still be called ninja.




I never said they weren't now did I? Well this is easy homework...

"MODERN ninja exist, ie, the practicioners of ninpo/ninjtsu".

But you can't compare the ninja of Medievel
Japan and say they are the same as ninja of today.

Quote:


Hint 1: Ninja were never a part of the Japanese class system. Maybe I completely misunderstood you but if you think ninja were all oppressed freedom fighters (as one author put it) you're way off base. Ninjutsu and ninja are far more involved than that. Ninja are a concept not a class.




Again, where did I say that ninja were a separate class in Japanese society?

I was talking about the class system in general as a social institution in Medievel Japan, hence "historical context". Can women today be considered ninja? If the definition of ninja is a practicioner of ninpo/ninjutsu, then yes. Could women in Medievel Japan be ninja? I can't answer this, because I don't know, but my answer based off of knowledge of common history would say no.

Think of it in terms of the evolution of the word "Caesar". In 200 b.c., it was just the name of a large clan, like saying "the Smith family" today. In the Empire it was used as the title of the Emperor, and is where we get Czar and Kaiser from.

So if I had said "Casears no longer exist", I would be both wrong and right, depending on the historical context. As a family, no, the Caesar clan no longer exists, but as a title of a king, yes, Casears exist to this day and age. That's what I was trying to get at.

Quote:


Just a note for you: do not read between the lines or read too deeply into my post. I haven't left any hidden meanings or anger in this post. I've given you some information here, I'm not angry, never was angry, upset or anything like that. Just take what I've given you and if you want to, research it.




Ok, then I apologise for taking your post the wrong way. Aparently it was I who got up on the wrong side of bed.

Quote:


Here's a huge big hint that will give you almost all the information I told you to research in the first place.

www.ninpo.org

That is about the best info source you're going to get until you can read old Japanese script.





I'll check out the other stuff you mentioned too. So there's no well documented history type book where I can learn this stuff? Cause I usually don't like resorting to web pages as my sources, but I guess if you're referring it to me, then it checks out pretty good then, right?

Kinda sucks that in oder to be a Japanese Medievel history major you have to learn Old Japanese Script. I certainly don't have to learn Latin and Greek in order to study their repective histories, but I guess dems da breaks...

I got to this, and these quotes basically say everything of what I was trying to get at:

"to define who is a ninja in the modern period (post 1868) is an elusive matter. This is due to fundamental differences in the characteristics of the modern period vis a vis early modern or premodern periods. Most notably are the change from military to civil rule, a shift from pre-industrial to industrial society, and from a relative international isolation to a country open to foreign (most significantly Western) influence. The change to civil rule was accompanied by the abolishment of the class system, bringing to an end seven hundred years of military rule. It is against this background that we should try to trace the development of the ninja."

"In its historical sense, Ninja, similar to samurai, ceased to exist as a social and military group . However, since Ninja were never an officially recognized social group, they could have potentially maintain their identity as such. Nevertheless, their existence was too much dependent on the overall social and military conditions within which they existed , and to insist that Ninja families and individual warriors continued to operate after the Meiji Restoration would be futile. Just as arguing that soldiers in Japan's modern army are in fact samurai is a baseless argument."

"That is, these martial traditions originating from an historical Ninja transmit fighting skills used by the premodern Ninja, but they also transmit a world-view, philosophy and fighting spirit that are not bound by historical periods. Therefore, it is more accurate to view the the historical Ninja as having been replaced by modern warriors who preserve premodern fighting traditions ".

http://www.ninpo.org/ninpohistory/ninpohistory2.htm

I even called them "modern ninja" to differentiate between the periods.

So once again, what do ninja have in common with Roman legionaries, gladiators, hoplites, and Caesars...?

They no longer exist....in their respective historical contexts.
_________________________
Alea iacta est ~ Gauis Julius Caesar Ne quis nimis ~ Solon Nuts to cancer ~ Sanchin31

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#142650 - 10/11/05 04:53 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
paradoxbox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
You read a good article but you missed the important thing he was trying to say.

How about this statement;

Riflemen do not exist.

in the 1700's, during the American Revolution, there were riflemen. Their methods were almost completely different from modern riflemen, and it's been a long time since those guys were around. Therefore riflemen do not exist, right? Wrooong.

Hint 3: Since ninja were never a defined class, you cannot apply a specific label to them unless they performed a specific function. The problem with that thinking is that the skills that ninja used are still practiced by people today, doing the exact same type of missions, some even using the actual ninjutsu skills learned from Japan.

Roman legionaires and the like, they ceased to exist because they were a defined fighting unit that flourished and then completely stopped existing. The techniques were lost, the units became useless, disbanded, whatever.

Ninja skills are universally applicable to every situation requiring infiltration. As such they have never been lost and the people called ninja still exist.

Being fixed on definitions will cause a person to think, 'Because he does not infiltrate castles or houses using a rag doll, he can't be a ninja'. That's the wrong way to look at it and it shows clearly that the word "ninja" is not understood by that person.

It's a concept, not a fixed definition. Ninja will exist as long as humans infiltrate using ninjutsu techniques, plain and simple. If you want to say "ninja who sneak into Japanese castles of the sengoku period at night and kill daimyo do not exist anymore", that would be a lot more accurate.

And yes, there were SOME ninja who can have a specific label applied to them, they generally performed specific tasks for the shogun or daimyo. Takeda, and Hojo used specific units skilled in certain ryuu of ninjutsu for example.

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#142651 - 10/11/05 06:05 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: paradoxbox]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
Resident Forum Breakdancer

Registered: 02/07/05
Posts: 981
Well we're in agreement, I'm saying nearly exactly the same thing as you, except using "Caesar" to replace "ninja".

"The problem with that thinking is that the skills that ninja used are still practiced by people today, doing the exact same type of missions, some even using the actual ninjutsu skills learned from Japan."

Some techniques had to have been added or changed (not necessarity ALL of them though), because I find it very difficult to believe that ninja techniques have not been altered at all over the centuries with the advancement of technology (every other surviving martial art seems to have changed over the years, why didn't ninjutsu?). If not then theoretically we could take a ninja from ancient Japan with all his equipment and tell him to sneak into the Pentagon without any additional knowledge or skills necessary to complete his mission.


We constantly discuss on these forums how TMA's are not actually traditional, since they are continuously improving and changing to fit our current time period and needs. If ninjutsu does not do this, then it's only a miracle that it survived...

"Riflemen do not exist.

in the 1700's, during the American Revolution, there were riflemen. Their methods were almost completely different from modern riflemen, and it's been a long time since those guys were around. Therefore riflemen do not exist, right? Wrooong."

How is this any different than what I said about Caesars?
How is it any different than this? "In its historical sense, Ninja, similar to samurai, ceased to exist as a social and military group. . .Just as arguing that soldiers in Japan's modern army are in fact samurai is a baseless argument."
So here we are in agreement again.


"Ninja skills are universally applicable to every situation requiring infiltration. As such they have never been lost and the people called ninja still exist."

So is the idea of being a Caesar, the next king of England will in essence be a "Caesar". But this is still VERY different from a Caesar in the Empire, 1st most obvious thing being that England is a democratic Monarchy.
Again in agreement.

"Being fixed on definitions will cause a person to think, 'Because he does not infiltrate castles or houses using a rag doll, he can't be a ninja'. That's the wrong way to look at it and it shows clearly that the word "ninja" is not understood by that person."

Hence the phrase "historical context". Once again, we agree with each other...

"It's a concept, not a fixed definition. Ninja will exist as long as humans infiltrate using ninjutsu techniques, plain and simple"

As long as 1 person retains rule over a country, then so will Caesars.
Were there any women ninjas?
cause that could change a whole lot of what we are discussing. Otherwise, again with agreement.

If you want another example besides Caesar (and more of a concept than a fixed definition), think of the word Spartan and all that it entails in today's connotations. That definintion is very different than the definition of actual Spartans in Classical Greece.

Hint: What does it mean to be Spartan? What would actual Spartans say in response to this?

"It's a concept, not a fixed definition. Ninja will exist as long as humans infiltrate using ninjutsu techniques, plain and simple"

Again, have ninja techniqes changed over the centuries at all? Has the Execution of these techniques changed at all? What is the ancient ninja technique to not getting caught by security surveilance cameras then?
In this day and age, this is certainly a legitimate infiltration question, which the ninja of mid. Japan would not be able to answer.

All in all, I think we are basically saying the same thing in a different light, I say ketchup, you say catsup (can't really do the "tomAto Tomotto" one over the internet ).
Maybe we should declare a ceasefire and agree to disagree...
cause this is about as effective as discussing whether or not the Trojan War existed.....

Edit: can't believe I missed this one...
"Roman legionaires and the like, they ceased to exist because they were a defined fighting unit that flourished and then completely stopped existing. The techniques were lost, the units became useless, disbanded, whatever. "

Ok, using Roman Legionaries as a concept then, they still exist. The idea of breaking a large army into several smaller units commanded by an officer with standardized training and equipment at the expense of the state is the basic core concept of a Roman legion, and in that sense, the U.S. army is a Roman legion, its soldiers being Roman Legionaries.


Edited by UofM Shorin Ryu (10/11/05 06:13 PM)

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#142652 - 10/11/05 08:15 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
Reiki Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 3400
Loc: MiddleEarth
I must say its really nice to see you guys having a good hard discussion and its a refreshing change from some of the name-calling that we've seen elsewhere.

Keep up the good work!
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#142653 - 10/18/05 09:49 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: Gaara]
shotaki_ Offline
Stranger

Registered: 10/18/05
Posts: 1
You are in a clan, as am I. We are half Japanese and Half North American.I am Trained in Trained also in Ninjutsu.Also in Sholin Fists. I would be very interested to learn about your clan

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#142654 - 10/18/05 09:56 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: shotaki_]
paradoxbox Offline
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Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
Sorry, there are no ninja clans on the planet any longer. The 2 closest things remaining would be decendents in Japan of famous ninja families (Hattori, Momochi etc) and perhaps some people in the Yakuza. Even they aren't really a clan. Stop watching ninja turtles and get some real training, by the way your teacher is probably a fraud. Ninjutsu and Shaolin have nothing to do with eachother really, except maybe some 2000 years back.

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#142655 - 10/19/05 01:40 AM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: shotaki_]
laf7773 Offline
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Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4064
Loc: Limbo
There are NO more ninja. Hatsumi himself refers to Takamatsu as "the last true ninja". All others today are simply practitioners of the arts.

Whats with these so called "clans" popping up like a bad rash?
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#142656 - 10/19/05 03:31 AM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: laf7773]
paradoxbox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
Quote:

There are NO more ninja. Hatsumi himself refers to Takamatsu as "the last true ninja". All others today are simply practitioners of the arts.

Whats with these so called "clans" popping up like a bad rash?




Actually Hatsumi usually refers to Takamatsu as the last combat ninja (Saigo no jissen ninjya, http://img294.imageshack.us/img294/9540/saigo7le.jpg ). I have heard him call himself a ninja more than once and Tanemura sensei refers to the Genbukan as a 'True ninja group' in his book Ninpou secrets.

Ninja were not and are not just practicioners of fighting arts.

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#142657 - 10/19/05 01:02 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: paradoxbox]
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4064
Loc: Limbo
Quote:

Ninja were not and are not just practicioners of fighting arts.




Exactly my point, the "ninja" were more than simply practitioners of the ninjutsu arts. The modern practitioners of ninjutsu are NOT ninja. Hatsumi and Tanemura are NOT ninja no matter how much they want to call themselves one. The "ninja" were an entity of a specific time period. Regardless of if people today eithe practice the art, employ their skills in similar professions (i.e. SEAL tactics, CIA, Yakuza) or both, they still are not ninja. You seem to have your head wrapped around some sort of ideology as to what ninja are or what it takes to constitute one but you are missing the entire point. Just as modern practitioners of iaido, kenjutsu, daito ryu and so on will never be samurai regardless of their chosen profession. Yes, that means even members of the Japanese military practicing these arts are not samurai. Even though there is a difference in terms of samurai being a class and ninja not being a specific class the dynamic is still the same.

Back to the subject of the "ninja-to". I would like ANYONE to provide historical documentation that such a weapon existed. Anyone who has even a mild understanding of the history of the Japanese sword knows this weapon is both unreal and impractical even for the far fetched "uses" of it. If anyone has ever toured the Japanese sword museum in Tokyo you will have noticed no display portraying the straight blade, square tsuba ninja-to. There isn't even one in the Iga ninja museum in Ueno park. The "ninja-to" is a figment of Hollywood's imagination that has bleed over into countless fraudulent systems that claim it is legit. So for you "historians", try looking past your system of ninjutsu and what your friends say and dig into the actual history.

Quote:

Saigo no jissen ninjya




This translates closer to "last solid line ninja" or "last ninja put into practice" aka last true ninja, not last "combat" ninja.
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#142658 - 10/19/05 03:08 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: laf7773]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
Resident Forum Breakdancer

Registered: 02/07/05
Posts: 981
Quote:

Quote:

Ninja were not and are not just practicioners of fighting arts.




Exactly my point, the "ninja" were more than simply practitioners of the ninjutsu arts. The modern practitioners of ninjutsu are NOT ninja. Hatsumi and Tanemura are NOT ninja no matter how much they want to call themselves one. The "ninja" were an entity of a specific time period. Regardless of if people today eithe practice the art, employ their skills in similar professions (i.e. SEAL tactics, CIA, Yakuza) or both, they still are not ninja. You seem to have your head wrapped around some sort of ideology as to what ninja are or what it takes to constitute one but you are missing the entire point. Just as modern practitioners of iaido, kenjutsu, daito ryu and so on will never be samurai regardless of their chosen profession. Yes, that means even members of the Japanese military practicing these arts are not samurai. Even though there is a difference in terms of samurai being a class and ninja not being a specific class the dynamic is still the same.

Quote:

Saigo no jissen ninjya




This translates closer to "last solid line ninja" or "last ninja put into practice" aka last true ninja, not last "combat" ninja.





This is what I was trying to get at all along Paradox, so once again:

Quote:



Ninja were not and are not just practicioners of fighting arts.





Thanks Paradoxbox, you just proved my whole arguement!!

Since the era in which we mostly associate Ninja no longer exists, ancient Ninja no longer exist. You have to put an adjective in front of ninja in order to describe today's ninja, because the meaning of of the word has changed along with the society.

Your Homework:
Caesar, as in the family, or Caesar, as in King?
Ninja, as known in feudal Japan, or ninja, as in today's modern applications of their techs/culture/methods/etc?

Explain the differences of Casear and Caesar, and Ninja and Ninja given by this question, and why they are NOT the same.


Even the article from the site you gave me differentiates between Ninja, and "modern" ninja. The same samurai comparison has been made by the article, Laf, and I in this thread....

Think it over a bit...try to see where we're coming from
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#142659 - 10/19/05 05:17 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: laf7773]
paradoxbox Offline
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Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
>This translates closer to "last solid line ninja" or "last ninja put into practice" aka last true ninja, not last "combat" ninja. <

The kanji on the dvd cover clearly mean 'combat'
http://www.budomart.com/takamatsucover.jpg

No time to discuss this now will reply again later.

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#142660 - 10/19/05 05:54 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: paradoxbox]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
Resident Forum Breakdancer

Registered: 02/07/05
Posts: 981
Either way you prove my point.

Combat ninja would be referring to feudal ninja, and they don't exist anymore.

So when you say ninja exist, you have to acknowledge that they are far different from their ancient bretheren, because even this debate over Takamatsu's book/dvd proposes that the ninja of old (combat ninja) have died out.

So in conclusion:

Ninja don't exist...

P.S. Post whenever you get the chance, no rush needed!
_________________________
Alea iacta est ~ Gauis Julius Caesar Ne quis nimis ~ Solon Nuts to cancer ~ Sanchin31

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#142661 - 10/22/05 02:17 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
paradoxbox Offline
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Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
I had forgotten to reply to this thread.

A quick look in the intro to "ninpo secrets" will see the word ninja used in reference to the currently existing genbukan ninpo bugei federation.

In addition there is this link;
http://uk.geocities.com/bcdojo/silent.htm

And this;
http://uk.geocities.com/bcdojo/talk.htm - note his confirmation that kunoichi exist to this day and thus obviously because a kunoichi is a ninja, ninja exist according to Hatsumi himself.

And here he (Hatsumi) refers to himself as a ninja;
http://uk.geocities.com/bcdojo/lifeday.htm

I rest my case. People are far too hung up on defining the word 'ninja' as a specific social class when it's just a living concept that will never go away.

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#142662 - 10/22/05 06:16 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: paradoxbox]
imcrazy Offline
cereal killer

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 492
Loc: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Well all I know is that I don't ever want anyone calling me a ninja, and I sure as heck won't be refering to myself as one either. The concept has become cheesy and fictional thanks to hollywood and most ppl don't know what real ninja were, so if one was to call themself one it really wouldn't help any IMO.

I even don't use the word ninjutsu anymore when explaining Bujinkan to others.
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#142663 - 10/24/05 02:45 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: imcrazy]
paradoxbox Offline
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Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
Well, I guess there's nothing wrong with calling it taijutsu or something like that. Bujinkan has more than just ninjutsu in it, as does genbukan and jinenkan. I don't get why anyone would want to argue with the grandmaster of 3 specificly defined ninjutsu traditions about whether or not they can call themselves ninjas though. Grandmasters know best.

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#142664 - 10/25/05 01:05 AM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: paradoxbox]
laf7773 Offline
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Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4064
Loc: Limbo
Each of them chose to call their art something other than "ninjutsu" for a reason. Part of that reason was to separate them self from the "ninja" stereotype.

Face the facts. You are contradicting yourself. In one breath you say ninja are more than practitioners of ninjutsu but then you claim modern practitioners are ninja. If a ninja is more than a practitioner of the art then how are these people, who only practice the art, ninja? Here is a hint they are not ninja. You are not a ninja.
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Enjoy life while you can, you never know when things will change.

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#142665 - 10/25/05 01:56 AM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: laf7773]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
Resident Forum Breakdancer

Registered: 02/07/05
Posts: 981
Laf, couldnt've said it better myself.

Quote:

Grandmasters know best.




Well G dubayah is President of the united States of America, so if we were talking politics I could say, "G dubayah knows best...."

And we ALL know that just ain't always the case...

Plus, there are "grandmasters" for Mcdojo's too....



Historians don't even know everything, NO educated scholars believed that the Trojan War actually happened until Heinrich Schliemann excavated a huge fortified city in Asia Minor.....

We're all human, and humans are inaccurate creatures at best, including Grandmasters.

You're a history major, you should know better. This grandmaster is a tertiary source, not primary or secondary, his knowledge comes from other people, those sources came from other sources, which came from even more sources which came from the mouth of ninja themselves. Now how reliable is that?
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Alea iacta est ~ Gauis Julius Caesar Ne quis nimis ~ Solon Nuts to cancer ~ Sanchin31

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#142666 - 10/25/05 08:53 AM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: laf7773]
paradoxbox Offline
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Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
Quote:


Face the facts. You are contradicting yourself. In one breath you say ninja are more than practitioners of ninjutsu but then you claim modern practitioners are ninja.




Find one place where I have ever stated being a modern practicioner of the art means you are a ninja. I have not said anything like that. The grandmasters of the bujinkan and genbukan both state themselves that they are ninja. I did not say practicioners of the arts are all ninja.

I don't get what there is to argue about this, I gave the proof, Hatsumi says he's a ninja, Tanemura says genbukan is a ninja group, that's just all there is to it- the argument was originally 'there are no more ninja'. The 2 grandmasters of ninjutsu traditions say there are, I provided written proof of that multiple times. End of argument. Normally I don't think things are ever so black and white but in this case it is.

The trouble is misinterpretation of the word ninja.

When you get around to thinking of the word 'ninja' in the old style Japanese way instead of the western (or modern Japanese) way is when you will see there are plenty of ninja around the world, and why Hatsumi and Tanemura make such statements. The problems dissapear.

Quote:


You're a history major, you should know better. This grandmaster is a tertiary source.





This is wrong through and through. These grandmasters hold ALL of the scholarly reliable books that foreign historians have used to investigate the history of the ninja. Another problem with this logic is the fact that a very large portion of ninjutsu is kuden only. Not transmitted in scrolls, never recorded in history books. However when the information is compared to what was written down, it checks out accurately. This speaks for the credibility of the grandmasters, in my opinion.

To me this is kind of like hearing the designer of the A6M Reisentoki is not a reliable source of information on the capabilities of the aircraft, and that consulting the manual provided for the aircraft is better. Sorry, no.


By the way, what the particular article you quoted failed to mention is the ninja throughought the late edo and meiji periods, I think he did that more to make a point about the end of the large scale warfare in Japan that necessitated constant use of ninja, more than anything else. Ninja operated as a police force and as ambassidors throughout the edo period and parts of the meiji period in which many wound up fighting for both sides of rebellions that sprang up during the meiji period.

At one point the number of practicioners were very very small during the showa period, we actually don't know how small, but they certainly did not cease to exist, and all of the souke prior to Takamatsu took part in real warfare within Japan in some form or another. Takamatsu is reputed to have engaged a very large number of duels and there are many kuden about his dealings in asia throughout the Pacific War. If the arts went extinct during those times that wouldn't be very nin would it, considering the abundant availability of war zones to litmus test in.

And when you consider that a lot of the actual 'ninjutsu' skills (such as infiltrating enemy camps, disrupting intelligence efforts, etc) have survived to this time it is likely that these techniques were employed during that time. And they continue to be employed to this very day. For example someone like John Lindsay who is highly ranked in the Genbukan but serves in Iraq as part of an independent security team and protecting various targets. If that does not qualify as a ninja I do not know what does. Tokugawa and the Iga ninja escort ring a bell?

The grandmasters of these traditions didn't just get there by being stupid. Less than 6 people, all having menkyo kaiden in arts containing ninjutsu are responsible for almost all of the knowledge on the subject, including historically accepted knowledge. They know the subject inside and out. More than you, Lane, or I, or everyone on this forum combined. So if they are calling themselves ninja does it not make a strong point about whether or not ninja still exist?

There's really nothing left to argue about it- you can argue with the grandmasters statements if you'd like, but when people start doing that, that is when I take a step back. Have fun, but I'm sorry, I cannot participate in that.


Edited by paradoxbox (10/25/05 12:11 PM)

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#142667 - 10/26/05 01:40 AM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: paradoxbox]
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4064
Loc: Limbo
Hatsumi refers to Takamatsu as "the last REAL ninja". Your reference to the video from Budomart says it clearly, it's not my fault you didn't get the translation right. Here is the right up on the video from Budomart.

http://www.budomart.com/acatalog/Online_Catalogue_GENERAL_HATSUMI___TAKAMATSU_42.html

Quote:

This DVD which title means: "Takamatsu Toshitsugu, the last real Ninja" is based upon a black and white movie filmed in the 60s and showing Takamatsu Sensei teaching Hatsumi Sensei in a park.




You are holding on to some dream of being a ninja. There are no ninja. There are people who use there training to aid their profession but that doesn't make them ninja. The skills you refer to (infiltrating enemy camps etc.) are not exclusive to ninjutsu. There are professions that employ similar skills to those used by ninja but that doesn't make them ninja. John Lindsey was doing convoy escorts the same as various military police forces, does that make them all ninja? No. What is it you think constitutes being a ninja? Do they have to be a practitioner of ninjutsu and employ that training in a combat situation? If so them Hatsumi can't be a ninja due to the fact that he has no real combat experience outside the dojo.

There are no more ninja. The closest you will come today are the select few who train in ninjutsu and also happen to have a profession that may allow them to exploit some of their training.

Quote:

To me this is kind of like hearing the designer of the A6M Reisentoki is not a reliable source of information on the capabilities of the aircraft, and that consulting the manual provided for the aircraft is better. Sorry, no.




This statement just doesn't fit, as Hatsumi and Tanemura didn't invent ninjutsu. Additionally NO system of ninjutsu has been verified as koryu. There are koryu systems present in the Bujinkan and the Genbukan but none of them are ninjutsu. You can stamp your feet all you want and proclaim your are correct but until you can provide some kind of proof from a reliable academic source then it is all talk. Just because YOU say Hatsumi refers to himself as a ninja doesn't mean he is. I've never heard anyone but you make this claim.
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#142668 - 10/26/05 09:18 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: laf7773]
paradoxbox Offline
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Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
Guess Hatsumi's a liar then. Oh well! The fact that Hatsumi himself says he is a ninja, quite often, is enough for me. I used John Lindsay as an example beacuse a description of his situation probably best fits the stereotype of a genin ninja, which is most people think of when they hear the word ninja.

I wonder how much actual fighting Momochi Sandayu did. Hmmmm... Could be that it's best just to accept he's a ninja. He is a grandmaster of the ninjutsu traditions afterall.. Maybe he knows a little more about what he is or isn't than we do.

By the way, I have no misconceptions about what I am, I am certainly not a ninja, even though you may want to believe I think I am (That would make it convenient to destroy all my arguments). I am just a martial artist that takes a strong interest in researching the subject deeply.

Unfortunately, it is budomart's translation to English which is wrong, not mine. The kanji used for the word jissen on the box have no other meaning than 'actual fighting' or 'combat'. There is no other translation with a different meaning for that kanji. Not 'last real' not 'true line' not anything. Take a very good look at the kanji then find them in a kanji dictionary. Here are the kanji (once again) as they are written on the cover of the video; http://img294.imageshack.us/img294/9540/saigo7le.jpg

If you don't have one, you can use this online dictionary, type jissen, check the 'romaji' box, and look at the first kanji in the listings. These kanji match the ones on the box, and there is absolutely no other translation that can be had from those kanji. Any translation other than 'Last Combat Ninja' or 'Last Actual Fighting Ninja' are wrong.

As for ninjutsu ryuha being koryu, I really don't care anymore to be honest.. I long ago gave up the need to use the age of these arts as a shield for their effectiveness.

But for the record, Dr. Karl Friday seems to think the arts are probably as old as they claim (including gyokko ryu and togakure ryu), but simply lack the kind of documentation needed to prove it. And that's not surprising, not much survives for 1,000 years, especially given the secrecy that surrounded the arts for such a long period of time. Koryu.com is not a lot more than a small gossip group of martial friends and amateur historians that like to pat eachother on the back. They also took a negative view toward ninjutsu and bujinkan in particular because a lot of bujinkan members have displayed very hostile behavior toward them. They finally just got tired of it, hence their current position on the issue.

>I've never heard anyone but you make this claim. <

How is this relevant to anything I have said. Hatsumi said it, not me. Common sense would dictate that if a person is soke of multiple ryuha focused -only- on ninjutsu, he would be considered a ninja. And when he calls himself a ninja that would generally make it a topic closed for debate.

http://img395.imageshack.us/img395/1949/traitsofninja6em.gif
In this scanned page of the Genbukan training manual, Tanemura seems to give the impression one can become a ninja by practicing the things listed on this page..

Also some more reading material;
http://img478.imageshack.us/img478/693/ninjutsu23sv.gif
Sure, argue with it if you want.. I won't stop anyone from doing that. But do you have kaiden menkyo?

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#142669 - 10/27/05 12:43 AM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: paradoxbox]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
Resident Forum Breakdancer

Registered: 02/07/05
Posts: 981
Quote:

This is wrong through and through. These grandmasters hold ALL of the scholarly reliable books that foreign historians have used to investigate the history of the ninja. Another problem with this logic is the fact that a very large portion of ninjutsu is kuden only. Not transmitted in scrolls, never recorded in history books. However when the information is compared to what was written down, it checks out accurately. This speaks for the credibility of the grandmasters, in my opinion.





Let's see.....

Hatsumi wasn't alive during the ninja period first off....

"Before his death, Takamatsu-Sensei told Hatusmi that he had taught him everything he knew and after fifteen years of teaching"
http://uk.geocities.com/bcdojo/hatsumi.htm

So he's not a primary source

And Takamatsu learned from his grandfather.

So Hatsumi got his knowledge from a person, who got their knowledge from another person.

That's one reason why he's a tertiary source.

Second reason:

In one of my classes we were discussing what are our sources for ancient Rome. Here's what we came up with:

Primary Sources:

Archaeology, coins, weapons, pottery, inscriptions.

Secondary Sources:

Literary Works and transmissions

Why?
Bias of the author and copy errors are passed down through the generations. It's like "telephone" that ya play as a kid. One person whispers a message to another, and down the line it goes. When it reaches the end, the message the last kid says aloud is completely different from the origiinal message.

So if Hatsumi gained his knowledge from the " scholarly reliable books ", he's still learning from a secondary source, making him a tertiary source.

If any info was passed down by word of mouth before being written down (like Homer's epics), that makes them pretty unreliable indeed, things get changed, garbled, confused, and forgotten.

"In ancient times, membership in a ninjutsu ryu was restricted to those who were born into the ninja families.
http://uk.geocities.com/bcdojo/ninjutsu.htm"

Since this is no longer the case, how can there still be ninja?

Talking of Takamatsu:
"Only a few people knew that he was in fact the last Soke of the rich tradition of ninjutsu. It is said that his neighbours were amazed when they found out that he was also a ninja."
http://uk.geocities.com/bcdojo/takamatsu.htm

Wait, did they just say he was the last ninja?

Hatsumi:
"What is a ninja? What is time? You are asking me to define something that by its very nature is not understood. Ninjitsu is based on deception, but it's a lot more than that. It's the use of weapons and the art of concealment, but there's a great deal more to it than throwing stars, and stealth"
http://uk.geocities.com/bcdojo/lifeday.htm

If HE can't give a definition of what a ninja is, how can you classify people as one? There has to be some SOLID definition in order to use it as a description.


Quote:


By the way, what the particular article you quoted failed to mention is the ninja throughought the late edo and meiji periods, I think he did that more to make a point about the end of the large scale warfare in Japan that necessitated constant use of ninja, more than anything else. Ninja operated as a police force and as ambassidors throughout the edo period and parts of the meiji period in which many wound up fighting for both sides of rebellions that sprang up during the meiji period.





"In its historical sense, Ninja, similar to samurai, ceased to exist as a social and military group . However, since Ninja were never an officially recognized social group, they could have potentially maintain their identity as such. Nevertheless, their existence was too much dependent on the overall social and military conditions within which they existed ,and to insist that Ninja families and individual warriors continued to operate after the Meiji Restoration would be futile. Just as arguing that soldiers in Japan's modern army are in fact samurai is a baseless argument."

Someone's wrong here....


"It would be reasonable to view the ancient ninja as guerrilla warfare specialist, experts in all aspects of combat and strategy, intelligence gathering and networking, but also seekers of spiritual enlightenment and truth. Ninja were very much spiritual people. The main influences being Shinto (followers regarded their whole world: the rivers, mountains, lakes, and trees, to have their own energy and spirit), Mikkyo (a method for enhancing personal power involving the use of secret words and symbols to focus their energy and intentions toward specific goals) and Shugendo (a method of spiritual self-discovery consisting of subjecting oneself to the harsh weather and terrain of the area in order to draw strength from the earth itself. They would walk through fire, stand beneath freezing waterfalls, and hang over the edges of cliffs in an effort to overcome fear and assume the powers of nature). But ninjutsu was and is a separate philosophy . Ninpo, or the essence of the ninja's outlook, is a physical, emotional, and spiritual method of self-protection from the dangers that confront those on the warrior path to enlightenment."


This says ninja don't exist, but their LEGEND and IDEAS live on, doesn't it?


Quote:

As for ninjutsu ryuha being koryu, I really don't care anymore to be honest.. I long ago gave up the need to use the age of these arts as a shield for their effectiveness.




Good, because samurai arts are old too, still effective and practiced today, but there ain't no samurai any more, are there?

You say that just practicing the art does not make you a ninja, fine....

Tyranny and Dictators are old too, doesn't make them effective.

Quote:

How is this relevant to anything I have said. Hatsumi said it, not me. Common sense would dictate that if a person is soke of multiple ryuha focused -only- on ninjutsu, he would be considered a ninja. And when he calls himself a ninja that would generally make it a topic closed for debate.





So when a person with a ton of experience in anything says something, topic is closed?

If the Pope declared himself the one and only god, common sense would dictate that the Pope is correct. And when he calls himself a god that would generally make it a topic closed for debate....

Let me ask you this, since you have yet to answer any of my previous questions....

What constitutes being a ninja?

Are the ninpo club members on campus ninja?
Are CIA ninja?
Are people who practice the traditions and religions of ancient ninja but not the art ninja?
Do you have to practice the spiritual side to be a ninja?
Who is a ninja, and who isn't?
You say ninja is not a definition, but rather a concept...

You said you are not a ninja, so what would you have to do to become one? What did Hatsumi do that you are not?

There obviously has to be some sort of qualification if some people say they are not, and others say they are.

If I sneak into a building, use stealth, or do whatever else they do, but never actaully train in ninjutsu or the other arts, am I a ninja?

If you say that all you have to do is use infiltration tactics and stealth, then 5 yr olds playing hide and seek are ninja.


"Because he said so" doesn't cut it. I don't care how many times a prominent person in whatever says something, it's not believable without PROOF.

Bush is a prominent politician, if he said one day, "I am G. W. Bush, and am the king of politics", by your logic you would believe him simply because he said it.
Don't make much sense to me....
_________________________
Alea iacta est ~ Gauis Julius Caesar Ne quis nimis ~ Solon Nuts to cancer ~ Sanchin31

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#142670 - 10/27/05 01:19 AM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
paradoxbox Offline
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Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
>That's one reason why he's a tertiary source<

Sorry, that is wrong. We are not talking about ancient Rome.

We are talking about ninjutsu, in Japan. Almost no records were kept about ninjutsu as we know it other than what is written in bansenshukai, shoninki, ninpiden. Relying only on historical written references would mean the entire ninjutsu arts as we know them are fraudulent.

This has been disproven and there are numerous ancient scrolls depicting techniques and lineage, which can be viewed if you ask nicely, and pictures have been taken of some of them, though that is useless if you don't read Japanese.

If the pope declared himself to be the head of the church, that would be an accurate statement. Hatsumi does not declare himself to be god, he declares himself to be a ninja. He possesses the traits that the word ninja means. Trying to package the word ninja into some kind of predefined concept is a western thing and it's totally wrong, and until you learn to drop the baggage that you're using the word ninja with, you'll never realise why he says he is a ninja.

I don't really get the drift of your posts as they don't really have a lot to do with what the topic is. GW Bush has nothing to do with ninjutsu, nor does the pope, nor does reference to them making outrageous claims.

Hypothetically;
Tanemura says: I am a person who is honest. I strive for honesty in all I do. I am interested in everything. I try to learn about all new things I possibly can. This includes the sanjuurokkei. I put great effort into everything I do.

By the definitions he has given on that page I scanned, he is a ninja. By the definitions the bansenshukai gives, he is a ninja. By the definitions written by Momochi Sandayu in the 1500's, he is a ninja. Well then..

Looking at the kanji for the word ninja; he easily qualified just by putting great effort into everything and perservering in all he does. Of course the word has been bastardized since it was imported to the west and now people think the word ninja is something really special and ceased to exist.


The rest of your post could be answered by reading this;
http://img395.imageshack.us/img395/1949/traitsofninja6em.gif

While I understand it is perhaps a habit to only trust books as sources, you need to understand that Japanese martial artists were not all writers of encyclopedias.

Especially the people who were practicing highly illegaly throughout the late 1500's to 1700's. To do that would be a bit like driving around in a car with a sign in the back window stating 'I have an outstanding warrant'.

Sometimes it is just best to accept the fact that these 2 men who have more than 100 years of combined experience might actually know what they are talking about. Given the fact that they are responsible for almost all of the English information available on the planet on the subject, maybe you should give them a little more credit than you are.

Though it may be hard to depart from academic research theories, you're going to find it very hard to research many subjects (like this one in particular) in the future if you don't dig deeper and try to understand more than you are doing right now. Start by learning Japanese.

I'd recommend buying a copy of amatsu tatara magazine, as well as the panther productions samurai jujutsu dvd #6, and perhaps a genbukan training manual (Sorry for the genbukan material bias, but the material tends to be very comprehensive and include lineage and detailed explanations).

As it stands your reasoning is rediculous. If learning from books is considered learning from a secondary source, and learning from people is considered learning from a tertiary source, then there's no primary source and the whole art is bs. You are totally stuck in university theory mode and it has nothing to do with the reality of the arts being practiced, nor their history. Using the logic you've given above, pretty much all university research on history is conducted upon 'secondary and tertiary data'. Your professors didn't invent ww2. Some common sense is in order. Sometimes when a certain thing is known to exist, you just need to accept it. In this case the word ninja can simply be researched by dissasembling the kanji. Doing such a thing produces a very similar meaning to what was described on one of the scanned pages in my previous post. Not that difficult to understand.

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#142671 - 10/27/05 02:19 AM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: paradoxbox]
paradoxbox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
Another thing I wanted to add..

Why on gods green earth would you want to study an art under someone if you don't even trust them enough to believe them when they say you are a ninja? I don't get it. If you trust them enough to put faith in the techniques to save your life should you need to, then you ought to trust that they can call themselves ninja and it wouldn't be a lie.

If you can't trust your own teachers words then why bother studying the art with him. I don't mean this in a hostile way but it bothers me that so many people disagree with what the grandmasters say and do, and they always disagree on the internet, but despite this they still continue training in the grandmasters arts. Kinda hypocritical, IMO.

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#142672 - 10/27/05 03:23 AM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: paradoxbox]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
Resident Forum Breakdancer

Registered: 02/07/05
Posts: 981
I'm going to concentrate on just a few things now and deal with the rest of your post later.

Quote:

As it stands your reasoning is rediculous. If learning from books is considered learning from a secondary source, and learning from people is considered learning from a tertiary source, then there's no primary source and the whole art is bs. You are totally stuck in university theory mode and it has nothing to do with the reality of the arts being practiced, nor their history. Using the logic you've given above, pretty much all university research on history is conducted upon 'secondary and tertiary data'. Your professors didn't invent ww2. Some common sense is in order. Sometimes when a certain thing is known to exist, you just need to accept it. In this case the word ninja can simply be researched by dissasembling the kanji. Doing such a thing produces a very similar meaning to what was described on one of the scanned pages in my previous post. Not that difficult to understand.





Primary Sources:
Archaeology, weapons, coins, pottery, inscriptions.
Secondary sources:
Written literary works.

You know you're right about 1 thing. My professors didn't invent World War II.

We have weapons, inscriptions, archaeology to back up what people say.

Primary sources confirm what biased secondary or tertiary sources claim. People are biased, all your articles, magazines, and videos that you suggest are BIASED, they were made by people who got the info from SOMEWHERE ELSE!

Thucydides wrote about the Peloponnesian Wars in ancient Greece. He participated in them and has first hand knowledge of the events.

He is a secondary source.
We believe what he says because there is EVIDENCE supporting what he says. Other sources (from his day) confirm the events he talks about, archaeology confirms what he talks about, weapons, shipwreaks, statues, art, pottery confirm what he talks about.

He is a secondary source, supported by other secondary sources, supported by primary sources. That's what makes him reliable.

A good concrete secondary source would be an inscription written by a ninja in feudal Japan, about what a ninja is. This would be a good start. Another would be something from someone else, written during that time period, not a ninja, writing about what a ninja is.

You use what the GM says (who didn't live in feudal Japan), supported by what is written in websites, the authors of which are biased in favor of your arguements (also didn't live in feudal japan). I believe it is your logic that is flawed my friend...

I want to know where the authors of all these webpages got their info from.

You provided CONTEMORARY written sources, all the "sources" you give come from people who got their knowledge somewhere else. I want to know from what or where that knowledge came from. You also say that there are foreign documents about ninja, all in the posession of the GMs. Too bad, they would have added a lot of weight to your arguements.

Quote:

Though it may be hard to depart from academic research theories, you're going to find it very hard to research many subjects (like this one in particular) in the future if you don't dig deeper and try to understand more than you are doing right now.




What am I not understanding? You are giving as "evidence" the words that people are saying or writing, that's testimony dude, not proof. All written sources are biased, they were written by people. If there is EVIDENCE to back up what they say, then they are reliable. I'm sorry, but I don't rely on blind faith to research things, hence why I'm asking you constantly to provide evidence other than, "this person says".

I don't deny the Gms' knowledge and experience on ninja, just as I don't deny my professors' knowledge on Rome and Greece. The difference is my professors are supported by archaeological evidece, or some other type of proof. You rely on what other people say, and use what one GM says to back what the other GM says. Two wrongs don't make a right! Where's your EVIDENCE?

And frankly, religion is the only subject I know of that doesn't have some sort of primary source to back up some of their claims, but that's why it's called "faith".

Quote:

While I understand it is perhaps a habit to only trust books as sources, you need to understand that Japanese martial artists were not all writers of encyclopedias.





I don't rely on what books say, I rely on what the evidence says.

The concept of being a Spartan lives on to this day. We know what they thought being a Spartan meant because of what they themselves wrote, what other people wrote about them (same time period, like Athens' works on Sparta), and what the EVIDENCE tells us (the huge differences between the city of Athens and the city of Sparta, shields with inscriptions written on them, statues, art, transcripts written by them, pottery, etc).

You use what the GMs and a bunch of websites tells you about ninjas as evidence instead, where are the scrolls, where are the other opinions from say, common folk, samurai, the Shogun Daiyamos, foreign people living in the day, ANYTHING for pete's sake!?

The art isn't BS if there is some EVIDENCE! What someone says, who wasn't there, supported by what someone else says, written well after the period ended, is not fact.



The page you scanned was written by Tanemura, written in a training manual (I am assuming written in feudal Japan?)

If so, this is a great source from someone who actually LIVED in feudal Japan, and was a ninja himself, correct?

And it's still a secondary source, a great one, but still not primary. He is biased, and no matter how hard one tries to be unbiased, it is impossible. If you have other sources like this, don't hold out! They will support each other and add strength to your argument, especially if you have sources written by people who were not ninja.

I posess all 3 traits that the article mentioned (look how much energy I put forth debating with you, lol ). I've never studied ninjutsu or ninpo, and don't believe in any spiritual aspect of it, but based on what you gave, I am a ninja.

Now prove me wrong, if you can....
_________________________
Alea iacta est ~ Gauis Julius Caesar Ne quis nimis ~ Solon Nuts to cancer ~ Sanchin31

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#142673 - 10/27/05 10:54 AM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
paradoxbox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
You do not study any of the sanjuurokkei, nor do you understand bumon, shumon, tenmon or chimon. Thus you cannot be a ninja. Someone who had studied all of these things (which are listed on the page I scanned), that are encompassed within the 3 traits he lists, could then be considered a ninja.

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#142674 - 10/27/05 01:30 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: paradoxbox]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
Resident Forum Breakdancer

Registered: 02/07/05
Posts: 981
So for all the talk about ninja as a concept, without definition, ninja as an undefinable word, we can now define what constitutes being a ninja.

Must have 3 traits, must know sanjuurokkei, bumon, shumon, tenmon, and chimon, and be able to apply them in practical ways.

Am I correct?
Anything else in the makeup of a ninja?
_________________________
Alea iacta est ~ Gauis Julius Caesar Ne quis nimis ~ Solon Nuts to cancer ~ Sanchin31

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#142675 - 10/28/05 01:20 AM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
Resident Forum Breakdancer

Registered: 02/07/05
Posts: 981
Just so we don't have to have this debate anymore:


"Primary resources provide firsthand evidence of historical events. They are generally unpublished materials such as manuscripts, photographs, maps, artifacts, audio and video recordings, oral histories, postcards, and posters. In some instances, published materials can also be viewed as primary materials for the period in which they were written. In contrast, secondary materials, such as textbooks, synthesize and interpret primary materials. Following are excerpts and examples from a variety of explanations provided by institutions that utilize primary resources.

The Library of Congress' Learning Page is part of the American Memory site, which is designed to help teachers, students and life-long learners use the American Memory digital collections from the Library of Congress. Primary sources are defined as "actual records that have survived from the past, such as letters, photographs, articles of clothing." In contrast, secondary sources are accounts of the past created by people writing about events sometime after they happened.

For example, your history textbook is a secondary source. Someone wrote most of your textbook long after historical events took place. Your textbook may also include some primary sources, such as direct quotes from people living in the past or excerpts from historical documents.

People living in the past left many clues about their lives. These clues include both primary and secondary sources in the form of books, personal papers, government documents, letters, oral accounts, diaries, maps, photographs, reports, novels and short stories, artifacts, coins, stamps and many other things. Historians call all of these clues together the historical record."

The Ohio Historical Society defines primary sources as a "source created by people who actually saw or participated in an event and recorded that event or their reactions to it immediately after the event. In contrast, secondary source is defined as a "source created by someone either not present when the event took place or removed by time from the event."



http://ipr.ues.gseis.ucla.edu/info/definition.html

Your page was written by a guy named Tanemura, correct?

Is this him:
http://www.genbukan.org/japanese/Main/Masters/Tanemura/tanemura.html

If so, I'm still correct and this is a secondary source, but I was slightly wrong in the beginning. I can see where this would be considered a manuscript type artifact, and therefore would be a primary source.

My blurb about Thucydides could be viewed as the same, primary or secondary resource.

At least now you should be able to see why all the sites, the books by Hatsumi, etc are NOT primary sources....hopefully.....


Edited by UofM Shorin Ryu (10/28/05 01:21 AM)
_________________________
Alea iacta est ~ Gauis Julius Caesar Ne quis nimis ~ Solon Nuts to cancer ~ Sanchin31

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#142676 - 10/28/05 11:46 AM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
RobNus Offline
Member

Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 76
Loc: Dublin, Ireland
whoa am i tired after reading all of that....

i'd agree with UofM Shorin Ryu on this matter. being no expert on ninja at all, i basically went by what you guys said, and checked all the links ye provided. it seems ninja, like jedi in a way, do not exist. however, unlike jedi, they DEFINATELY did at some point.

really dont like the term "grandmaster" either. it sounds very self-honorary. Hanshi or something of the like has a much better ring to it...although hanshi may not fit to ninpou/ninjutsu.
_________________________
Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.

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#142677 - 11/04/05 05:32 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
paradoxbox Offline
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Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590

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#142678 - 11/04/05 09:47 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: paradoxbox]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
Resident Forum Breakdancer

Registered: 02/07/05
Posts: 981
Quote:

http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthread.php?t=31603





I don't understand the point of this....

Quote:

So, donít dismiss everything in our art as being antiquated, because you never know when you may have to call of some skills..




Is this the point?
If so then I'm still sticking to my arguement.
Roman legion skills and techniques are still in practice today, doesn't mean that Roman legionaries exist though...

We still use Greek and Roman building techniques, but they themselves are long gone.

Explain please


P.S. I like what heretic888 wrote here:
http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthread.php?t=31551


Quote:

[Quote]:
Originally Posted by G Arthur
Here we go again. All I tried to do was answer the guys question. Yes history buffs we all know its much more complicated than that, and being history its not always fact.






Gary, that is why it is important to separate fact from opinion --- particularly in regards to a subject as convoluted as ninjutsu history.

The problem here is that you're making just-so statements about history, yet refuse to cite the sources of your information. Furthermore, when questioned on this, you make use of appeals to emotion and the intellectual equivalent of, "why's everybody always pickin' on me?!".

If you're not going to cite the references and sources for your historical information, then all we're left with is baseless speculation. Opinion or not, you can't expect anyone to take such claims with any modicum of seriousness.


[Quote]:
Originally Posted by G Arthur
I have put my opinions on other posts, in this and other forums. This is my personel opinion. Lets leave it there.






I'm afraid I'm gonna have to call you on this, Gary.

Where exactly have you put out your definition of ninja and ninjutsu? In the last thread like this, I directly asked you your definitions of these terms but all you did was back-step and lob a series of disorganized quotations from Hatsumi and Tanemura (often taken out of context), making vague allusions to what you believed their definitions were .

However, nowhere have I seen you give a clear-cut explanation as to what you mean when you refer to a historical personage as a 'ninja'. As such, your statements about these individuals has no clearly discernible context in mind and will mean very little to those interested in their history.

Laterz.
__________________
Trent Whilden







That bolded text: Sounds like someone I know....

Guess that link kinda backfired on you...hehe!
_________________________
Alea iacta est ~ Gauis Julius Caesar Ne quis nimis ~ Solon Nuts to cancer ~ Sanchin31

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#142679 - 11/04/05 09:59 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
Resident Forum Breakdancer

Registered: 02/07/05
Posts: 981
I'm gonna add another nice post I'd like you to read:
http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthread.php?t=31551&page=2&pp=15


Quote:

By GArthur

This may be of help. I originally started it to get peoples opinions of what Ninjutsu was all about. As one can see when reading it there are no straight forward answers.

Go to search, put in gyokko ryu and scroll down to "What was ninjutsu" I tried putting a link here but could not do it.

As one can see there are many opinions and answering Vic 20s question is not easy. The problem with history is that often there are no definitive answers. Sure there is evidence, but then its all based on how good that evidence is.

The problem with trying to explain the history of ninjutsu is that we rely on secondary or tertiary sources. In other words our sources come from some one else who believe something based on what they have heard.

For example Hatsumi Sensei says this.

In this regard we do not have tangible evidence like for example the history of Egypt, with all there many papyrus, painted walls, mummies, Roman sources etc. And there of course is much argument even in this field.

The problem then when studying the history of the ninja, is that in essence we are studying something that is almost absent from the historical and material record. There is no archaeology, and good historical sources are scarce.

Sure we have a few manuscripts (Shoninki, Ninpiden etc), and the ninja are recorded in Japanese history, but in many occasions we do not know how accurate these sources are, as they were written by people that were either/or
a) Not from a ninja background.
b) Enemies of the ninja so had a political agenda.

Some people have attempted to use the available sources to get a history of the ninja i.e. Stephen Turnbull, but again many disagree with his view.

So my belief is that much of this will be down to a point of view. Even if you present me with a written source, I may disregard that source as not very factiual (good evidence) based on my opinion.

In reality much of our views about ninjutsu today are based on the views of a few individuals, and therefore much of what filters down to us and finds its way on the web is based on other peoples views alone, and even these people have political agendas.

Therefore your view of the ninja may be different to mine. But none of us can prove absolutely whether we are right or not. The truth is that in reality we may all be wrong.

Gary Arthur
www.toshindo.co.uk





Some more food for thought...

There are other posts I'd like to quote, but it's easier if you just read through that entire thread on the E-budo site rather than me wasting space on this forum.

But I'll leave you with one more from heretic888:

Quote:


As such, this leaves the term "ninja" all but meaningless as a label, since it can be applied to such a wide variety of personalities, social classes, and occupational roles. Instead, I would argue that the term can only be applied to specific groups beginning around the mid-15th century onward (such as with the famous Iga-shu). Otherwise, you're left with a label that is so broad and generic that you can't really say anything about the shinobi as a class of people (which was what the original post asked for).





Have fun!!!


If there are any other sites you have, post em up and I'll be glad to refute them. In the meantime....

Ninja do not exist.
_________________________
Alea iacta est ~ Gauis Julius Caesar Ne quis nimis ~ Solon Nuts to cancer ~ Sanchin31

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#142680 - 11/04/05 11:37 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
paradoxbox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
It's a nice internet post but the word ninja was not used during the 15th or 16th century and I've never found any evidence that proves it was used only for agents of the 15th / 16th century.

Lack of knowledge of Japanese language causes problems here. I've totally lost interest in debating in this thread about whether or not ninja exist anymore, but I'd suggest that you actually train in ninjutsu and learn Japanese before arguing about it, rather than educating yourself on the internet from English only forums.

The posts of some (all) of the people you've quoted are well known to be on extremely shaky ground in the past. Not that their arguments don't hold merit, but I would advise you to be very careful about who and what you start quoting with certain people. You could just listen to the grandmasters of the traditions and then there wouldn't be a problem. But I guess it's easier to quote random people on a forum to prove your point, sokeships be damned.

By the way, I posted the hensojutsu thread because it's a perfect example of my point. Hensojutsu is ninjutsu. There were ninja who specialized specifically in hensojutsu, nothing else. Considering the methods he's used are actual methods of shichihode, I'd say with confidence he's a ninja. Probably he wouldn't like the title, as in modern terms it sounds kind of goofy to most people, thanks to hollywood, but that's just the reality of it.

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#142681 - 11/05/05 02:10 AM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: paradoxbox]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
Resident Forum Breakdancer

Registered: 02/07/05
Posts: 981
I think it's ironic that everything else has been translated into english, but in order to learn about Ninja, I have to be proficient in Japanese....

Quote:

You could just listen to the grandmasters of the traditions and then there wouldn't be a problem. But I guess it's easier to quote random people on a forum to prove your point, sokeships be damned.





grandmasters are human, humans make mistakes. Am I supposed to believe everything someone says just because they have good credentials? That would be pretty unwise I would think....

You've given me all these "english only forum" pages, btw, so I can't really be blamed for using them in my arguements...since you use them in yours....

I suggest you actually be president before debating politics....that's basically what you are telling me, which is totally bogus.

Quote:

By the way, I posted the hensojutsu thread because it's a perfect example of my point. Hensojutsu is ninjutsu. There were ninja who specialized specifically in hensojutsu, nothing else. Considering the methods he's used are actual methods of shichihode, I'd say with confidence he's a ninja. Probably he wouldn't like the title, as in modern terms it sounds kind of goofy to most people, thanks to hollywood, but that's just the reality of it.




Quote:

Find one place where I have ever stated being a modern practicioner of the art means you are a ninja. I have not said anything like that. The grandmasters of the bujinkan and genbukan both state themselves that they are ninja. I did not say practicioners of the arts are all ninja.




So which is it? Does a modern practicioner make him a ninja, like you just stated?

It seems to me you are getting angry because I am not blindly believing what you want me to believe. I have asked for primary evidence several times, you keep directing me to Hatsumi or other people who were never there...

This is the main reason why I don't believe what you say.
I've provided 3 different perspectives on what a primary source is, you've ignored them all and given the Grandmasters and Tanemura as your sources. They are not primary, and they are not infallible, as you seem to think.

And why are these people shaky?
I would advise you to be careful on who you quote, since neither grandmaster, nor Tanemura were actually there, living and breathing with ninja in feudal Japan...

Mr GArthur on my previous post provides a quote from Hatsumi, so I'll fight fire with fire:

Quote:

For example Hatsumi Sensei says this.

In this regard we do not have tangible evidence like for example the history of Egypt, with all there many papyrus, painted walls, mummies, Roman sources etc. And there of course is much argument even in this field.

The problem then when studying the history of the ninja, is that in essence we are studying something that is almost absent from the historical and material record. There is no archaeology, and good historical sources are scarce.

Sure we have a few manuscripts (Shoninki, Ninpiden etc), and the ninja are recorded in Japanese history, but in many occasions we do not know how accurate these sources are, as they were written by people that were either/or
a) Not from a ninja background.
b) Enemies of the ninja so had a political agenda.





I like this A. because Hatsumi makes references to Rome, like I have done in the past
and B. questions the accuracy of his own sources.

You believe Hatsumi without a thought, Hatsumi himself questions the history of ninja....

Words have multiple meanings, they change over time. I see no reason to spend money and time learning japanese, when there is an easier solution.

I don't have to learn heiroglyphics, Latin, Greek, Italian, Spanish, or French to study those cultures, so why is Japanese so different? Lack of knowledge of these languages does not impede the study of any of these cultures, in any period of history, yet Japanese just happens to be special...

I guess I just don't understand why it is so hard to learn about ninja as opposed to everything else...but since you are the expert, I guess I just have to take your word for it....

In any case, you don't want to debate anymore, for whatever reason. I'm always up for a good debate, and it was fun while it lasted. Sorry to see your patience has worn thin, and your comments have deteriorated from good old debate to sly little attacks. So it's been fun! °Adios!
_________________________
Alea iacta est ~ Gauis Julius Caesar Ne quis nimis ~ Solon Nuts to cancer ~ Sanchin31

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